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Zardari was ready to give India 26/11 men

world Updated: Nov 19, 2011 01:37 IST

A secret memo from Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari seeking US assistance to avert a possible military coup in the country after US forces killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden says Islamabad was prepared to hand over its nationals — including those in its intelligence services — who were responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

The memo, which has raised a political storm in Pakistan, purportedly says the government was “prepared to cooperate fully under the new national security team’s guidance with the Indian government on bringing all perpetrators of Pakistani origin to account for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, whether outside the government or inside any part of the government, including its intelligence agencies”.

It also talked about handing over those against whom sufficient evidence of guilt exists to the Indian security services.

If true, this is a significant admission on the part of the Pakistani government of the involvement of its officials and civilians in the Mumbai attacks. So far, Pakistan has taken the line that non-state actors were involved in the attacks.

“It is more important that this is an admission of knowledge by the civilian leadership,” commented Talat Masood, a security analyst.

The other is the knowledge that state actors were involved.

Till now the civilian leadership has privately claimed that it was not privy to this information.